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Post Info TOPIC: Virginia, with deep pockets


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Virginia, with deep pockets
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https://www.progressiverailroading.com/passenger_rail/news/CSX-Virginia-reach-37B-deal-to-expand-passenger-rail-service--59347

 

By MICHAEL MARTZ Richmond Times-Dispatch

6 hrs ago

Trains will run almost every hour between Washington and Richmond including Main Street Station downtown within 10 years under a deal between Virginia and CSX Corp. that will open the gateway for expanded rail service in the region and other parts of the state.
The blockbuster $3.7 billion agreement that Gov. Ralph Northam and CSX announced Thursday will give Virginia control over hundreds of miles of railroad track and underlying right of way in three rail corridors, including the former RF&P line that parallels Interstate 95 between Richmond and Washington. It will not expand the two-track rail line that runs through Ashland, which the state already has promised to preserve.
The cost of the project would be split roughly three ways between Virginia, Amtrak and regional partnerships, but would not require any new state money, state officials said.
We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make our rail system work better for everyone, both in Virginia and along the entire East Coast, Northam said at the Crystal City headquarters of JBG Smith, the real estate company that helped Virginia land Amazons new East Coast headquarters in Arlington County last year.
This agreement will change the future of transportation in Virginia, improving our ability to move people and goods across the state, and opening up potential rail service in underserved parts of the commonwealth, he said.
Virginia will send $525 million to CSX, based in Jacksonville, Fla., for right of way and existing track on three rail lines.
The agreement will allow the state to build and own track for high-speed passenger rail service, including expansion of Long Bridge, a 115-year-old railroad bridge across the Potomac River that is critical to passenger and freight service along the Eastern Seaboard but operating at near full capacity.
CSX is proud of the innovative agreement reached with the commonwealth of Virginia, which will advance our goals for increased safety, efficiency and volume growth while meeting the publics desire for more passenger rail service to relieve commuter traffic congestion in the I-95 corridor, CSX President and CEO Jim Foote said Thursday.
More daily service
Virginia also has an agreement with Amtrak, which would allow the addition of six regional trains for daily service between Richmond and Washington, including one next year, more than doubling capacity and allowing trains to depart almost every hour. The expanded capacity also would allow additional train service to Norfolk next year and Newport News by 2026.
Currently, five regional trains serve Staples Mill Road Station in Henrico County but only two stop at Main Street Station in Shockoe Bottom because of the current track layout. An additional four long-distance trains stop at Staples Mill in runs between the Northeast and Southeast. State officials say those trains also could serve Main Street Station with additional rail improvements.
Offering new options means you wont have to drive on I-95, said Danny Plaugher, executive director of Virginians for High Speed Rail.
According to the state rail advocacy group, once the project is completed it is estimated that it will increase ridership by 2.6 million annually and generate about $370 million in annual economic benefit.
I think this is a historic day for Virginia. I dont say that lightly, Plaugher said. We havent owned a rail corridor in well over 30 years. So with taking ownership and having a stake in the corridor between Richmond and D.C., its a very big deal.
Amtrak intends to contribute $944 million to the project, which also would be financed by the state and regional partners, including the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission and the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission, co-owners of the Virginia Railway Express commuter service.
Amtrak is thrilled to be supporting this game-changing rail investment program as an investor and partner, said Stephen Gardner, senior executive vice president and chief operating and commercial officer for the national rail corporation. This program is a model for the nation of how to grow passenger and freight service together in order to relieve congestion, protect our environment and enhance mobility.
Pact with CSX
The agreement with CSX, to be completed by the end of next year, will give Virginia control of 350 miles of railroad right of way and 225 miles of existing track. The package includes half of the 112 miles of right of way and 39 miles of track that CSX owns between Richmond and Washington.
The deal also includes:
passenger train rights to 30 miles of track between Richmond and Petersburg;
75 miles of right of way on the abandoned S-Line between Petersburg and Ridgeway, N.C., to eventually allow high-speed rail service to the Southeast; and
173 miles of right of way and 186 miles of track on the Buckingham Branch Line between Doswell and Clifton Forge for eventual cross-state passenger service.

Tu see more plus a nifty map see

 https://www.progressiverailroading.com/passenger_rail/news/CSX-Virginia-reach-37B-deal-to-expand-passenger-rail-service--59347



-- Edited by Calvin on Friday 20th of December 2019 12:07:33 PM

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Fellow Railroaders,

The Commonwealth of Virginia is announcing an agreement today involving CSX and our strategic sale of surplus property, right of way and excess track in the Richmond-to-Washington corridor.

This highly positive development supports our strategies for creating capacity and driving growth. CSX will benefit from the transaction by separating public transportation from our business, while gaining capacity for volume growth.

CSX will retain two main lines on the RF&P. Virginia will acquire the remaining tracks and right of way between Richmond and Washington to accommodate passenger rail; our abandoned S-Line from south of Petersburg, Va., to Ridgeway, N.C.; and the Buckingham Branch Railroad, which is currently leased by the Commonwealth of Virginia. CSX will continue to operate as it does today.

Most importantly, the agreement calls for the state to invest in infrastructure construction over the next 10 years to increase both passenger and freight rail capacity, including a flyover to accommodate incoming passenger trains without affecting CSX train movements. The flyover will promote fluidity and enable us to move freight more efficiently, without restrictions, through the corridor.

In short, this agreement will advance our goals for increased safety, efficiency, and volume growth while meeting the public's desire for more passenger rail service to relieve commuter traffic congestion in the busy I-95 corridor. It is a significant win that will benefit our operations and business strategy for many years to come.

Jamie Boy Cock 
Executive Vice President, Operations



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That mountain line is part of my territory.....leaves me wondering......got 7 years give or take to work....hopefully things will poke along til then, though there's plenty more road my seniority covers.......

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